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Gabbing w/ Gamble: Which Twin would you be saddest to see leave?

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Sad Friday

Oakland Athletics v Minnesota Twins Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

Hello and welcome back to our (semi-) weekly discussion. As we head into the weekend, I unfortunately have a bit of a downer of a topic for you today: If the Twins remain in a seller’s position as trade season approaches, which Twin would you be saddest to see leave?

There’s rumors swirling as our beloved Twins have collapsed from lofty expectations to the depths of the standings, and it’s been pretty ugly. If things don’t turn around soon (and we have little reason to believe they will), we’re likely to see some players shipped away. I’ll run through a few who could be possibilities and reflect on my thoughts on them.

Nelson Cruz

Prime among trade possibilities is our beloved Boomstick. Nelly isn’t getting any younger, and if the Twins decide to retool or rebuild, it wouldn’t make much sense to keep the aging slugger around. His 1-year contract would be easy to move, and an AL team would surely jump to add the big bat to their DH position or bench.

Max Kepler

This one seems like a long-shot to me, but as the up-and-comers Trevor Larnach and Alex Kirilloff have now arrived, the Twins find themselves with three left-handed corner outfielders. Kirilloff may see a move to first base, but the fact remains that Kepler and his favorable contract could fetch a tempting return if he improves his play prior to the trade deadline.

Andrelton Simmons

Simmons, on a one-year contract and with a stellar glove, would be a great option for contenders that need infield help, whether starting or off the bench. I don’t imagine any Twins fans are too attached to him yet, but he should be included in Twins trade possibilities. A Simmons trade would force the Twins to move Polanco back to short, which they may not be willing to do.

Jose Berrios

Rumors have swirled over the past few days that some teams could have strong interest in Berrios as a trade target. I don’t think the Twins are eager to trade their homegrown all-star starter, but if they don’t think they’ll be able to sign him on a reasonable contract soon as his free agency approaches, I could see them dealing Berrios for the right price.

J.A. Happ

Happ performed admirably up until his two starts against the lefty-killing White Sox, which likely hurt his trade value greatly. Nevertheless, the aging starter is also on a one-year deal and could be dealt.

Byron Buxton

Buxton is another case, like Berrios, where I could see the Twins trading him only because they don’t think they can sign him to a reasonable extension. However, I think Buxton is very unlikely, as his valuation from team-to-team would swing so wildly due to his immense talent but inconsistent availability.

My take: I would be saddest to see Buxton or Berrios go. I do love Nelly, but I’d rather see him chase a title than waste away one of his last few years on a bad team. Kepler would also be a sad one, but I’ve just about lost hope that he’s the hitter we saw in 2019, and the hitter he’s been since simply isn’t worth much to keep around, especially with talented youngsters waiting in the wings.

On the other hand, Buxton is one of the most exciting players I’ve ever seen play. I am convinced that his best years are still ahead of him, and he’ll bite the injury bug eventually. Berrios is another player who we’ve watched learn and grow, and it would be sad to see him go while there’s still potential we haven’t seen tapped.

Now, it’s your turn: Who would you be saddest to see traded? Drop a comment below!